In Memoriam: Ken Russell

As a tribute to Ken Russell, the late, lamented master of freak-out and fantasia (who died last November), we present a special screening of his 1980 head-trip Altered States. Fearless scientist (William Hurt) attempts to plumb nothing less than the unborn soul of mankind, using a sensory-deprivation tank and extra helpings of shroom stew. Russell takes us along for the phantasmagorical ride, merging psychedelic special effects, hyperreal dream sequences, and the director’s typically dazzling and blasphemous take on Christian symbolism. Featuring Blair Brown as Hurt’s smitten girlfriend, and a timely use of “Light My Fire.”

Please note that the print of Altered States is an older, faded print.

  • Ken Russell
  • 1980
  • USA
  • 35mm
  • 102 minutes